About Eric Burdon & The Animals
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Eric Burdon (WAR/The Animals) has assembled a new band including Wally Ingram on drums & vocals, Eric McFadden, Paula O’Rourke, and Red Young. The world tour is currently underway and the band has been tearing it up and having a blast!
Eric Burdon was born on May 11, 1941 in Walker-on-Tyne, Northumberland, UK. His lengthy recording career began in Newcastle, England, where he first covered songs by his idols, such greats as Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Josh White, Brownie McGhee, John Lee Hooker, and Jimmie Reed. He and The Animals quickly gained notoriety as England’s best R&B band, and they were selected by the pirate station Radio Caroline as the feature for the first broadcast to the U.S. The Animals took the music world by storm when they recorded and released an electrified version of the traditional folk number, “The House of the Rising Sun”. With the release of that song in mid-1964, The Animals became the first British group after the Beatles to chart a Number One single in America. In short order they followed with classics featuring Eric’s gritty powerful voice such as “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, “It’s My Life” and many others.
While the original membership lasted only until 1966, Eric continued with new recruits, and the band enjoyed several more hits in a more psychedelic vein, such as “Monterey” and “San Franciscan Nights”.
After breaking up the Animals in December, 1968, Burdon entered the Seventies as frontman with a black funk group from Los Angeles known as War. They recorded a hit single, “Spill the Wine”, and two albums. After leaving War, Eric recorded intermittently throughout the Seventies and Eighties as a solo artist. The original Animals subsequently reunited in 1976 to tour and record a reunion album called “Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted”, after which Burdon ventured into new territory by appearing in several European films and eventually starred in and composed the soundtrack for the German film, “Comeback”. Reuniting with The Animals once again for more world touring in 1983, he also recorded a song called “Sixteen Tons” for the soundtrack to Tom Hanks’ feature film, “Joe Versus the Volcano”.
In 1990, Burdon toured with Robbie Krieger (formerly with “The Doors”), did a cameo roll in Oliver Stones’ picture, “The Doors”, studied acting at The Actor’s Studio in Los Angeles, did more professional acting by doing a cameo role in the feature film “The Eleventh Victim”, and appeared as featured artist in television shows such as “China Beach”.
In 1991 Burdon collaborated with follow Englishman and keyboard player Brian Auger to form the “Eric Burdon/Brian Auger Band” and continued to tour the world, primarily in Europe, performing for his many loyal fans. From this collaboration came the live, double album, “Access All Areas”.
In 1994, Eric Burdon and The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Burdon’s great voice can be heard on national television commercials and he has appeared in several documentary specials on the history of rock n’ roll including a series by Time/Life in the States and Granada TV and BBC TV in England. He was a featured artist on the “Concert For The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame” and performed in the HBO Special presentation of that concert, where he sang some of his classic hits in a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. He was also honored to have been invited by the family of Jimi Hendrix to perform in the “Jimi Hendrix Tribute Concert in Seattle”.
Throughout the mid 1990’s Burdon toured as Eric Burdon’s I-Band, which featured drummer Mark Craney, guitarists Larry Wilkins & Dean Restum, and bassist Dave Meros. After Craney was forced to retire and await kidney-transplant, the band regrouped around legendary musicians Jeff Beck and Aynsley Dunbar. The result was two Official Live Bootleg CD’s, issued under the Flyin Eye Records-label. This incarnation of the band toured throughout the mid-to-late1990’s. Then, in May, 1997 Wilkins passed away following a battle with cancer. Neal Morse stepped in on both guitars and keyboards, and the I-Band was eventually back on tour and ready to record another live project, Official Live Bootleg #2 – which includes an excellent version of an often-recorded Jagger-Richards track, “Paint It Black”. The addition of Morse, and his work on Paint It Black, reminded many fans of the keyboard significance of any Burdon-based project. By 1999 Morse had retired to pursue other projects, but not before assisting Burdon on the charity-based project, The British Rock Symphony; Morse was replaced by keyboardist and violinist Martin Gerschwitz, who with Bernard Pershey, Dean Restum, and Dave Meros form the New Animals, and back Burdon on his current tours.
Eric Burdon has never been afraid to change with the times and has always done what he has wanted to do. Over the years, he has become an accomplished writer, singer, artist and actor, developing his unending artistic abilities, always doing what he wants – successfully.
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